How to Survive the First 48 Hours With a New Puppy

A sleeping German Shepherd puppy.

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Are you getting a new puppy?

Puppies are so adorable, and it’s natural to want to give them all the love and attention they need. But it’s important to remember that they are also a lot of work! This blog post will help you make the first 48 hours with your new pup as smooth as possible.

By following these tips, you will be able to set up a routine for your new pet that will make everyone happy and healthy. Puppies need plenty of exercise, training, and love – and with a little bit of effort on your part, you can provide all of that!

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Pin image for how to survive your first 48 hours with a new puppy with a puppy sitting in the grass.

Prepare Before Puppy Comes Home

One of the most important things you can do to make the first 48 hours with your new puppy go smoothly is to prepare ahead of time. There are a few things you’ll need to do before bringing your puppy home, such as puppy-proofing your home and buying the supplies your new puppy will need once they come home with you.

Puppy-Proofing Your Home

You’ll want to make sure that your home is safe for a new puppy before they arrive. This means going around your house and looking for anything that could potentially harm them. Puppies are curious creatures, and they will chew anything and everything!

Some things to look for include:

  • Small objects that they could choke on
  • Exposed electrical cords
  • Sharp objects
  • Toxic plants
  • Medications

You’ll also want to make sure that any potentially dangerous areas are blocked off so your puppy can’t get to them. This includes the kitchen, as there are many things in there that could harm a curious puppy.

Purchase The Necessary Supplies

Before your puppy comes home, you’ll need to make sure you have all the supplies they will need. This includes food, bowls, a bed, a crate, toys, and more. You can find a complete list of everything your puppy will need in the post 15 Must-Have Puppy Supplies.

Take the Day Off

It’s best to bring your puppy home on a day where you will be home the rest of the day (it’s even better if you can have the first couple of days off). This will allow you to spend time with them and help them adjust to their new home. It’s also a good idea to have someone else home with you for the first few days, as puppies need a lot of supervision!

Things You Need When You Pick Up Your New Puppy

When you go to pick up your new puppy, there are a few things you’ll need to bring with you. If you are getting your puppy close to your home you will just need to bring a kennel, leash, collar, and poop bags.

If you have a long drive you will want to bring food and water dishes along with some puppy food and water. The amount will depend on how long of a drive you have. Most young puppies will need to eat 3 times a day, so plan accordingly.

Driving Home With Your New Puppy

If you have a long drive home with your new puppy, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The most important thing is to make sure they have frequent potty breaks.

Puppies can’t hold their bladder for very long, so you’ll need to stop every couple of hours to let them out. Make sure to clean up after your puppy if they poop during one of the potty breaks. Poop bags make this significantly easier to do.

It’s also a good idea to bring along a chew toy for your puppy to help keep them occupied during the drive. Chewing is a natural instinct for puppies, and it will help to relieve any stress they may be feeling.

Introducing your puppy to their new forever home

When you finally arrive home with your new puppy, it’s time to introduce them to their new forever home! Start by giving them time to potty outside before bringing them inside, then bring them inside.

Let Them Explore (While Supervised)

The first thing you’ll want to do is let your puppy explore their new home. This means giving them time to sniff around and get comfortable with their surroundings. You will need to stay close by and supervise them, as they may try to chew on things or make a mess.

Start Using Your Dog’s Name Right Away

As soon as you bring your puppy home, start using their name. Make sure to associate the name with good things, like getting pets or giving them small treats. Whenever you interact with them, use their name so they start learning it.

Crate Training

German Shepherd laying on her back in a wire crate.

You should start crate training the day you bring your puppy home. This will help them learn to be comfortable in their crate, and it will also give you a place to put them when you can’t watch them.

What size crate do you need for a new puppy?

A general rule of thumb is to get a crate that is big enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around, and lie down in. However, since your puppy will grow, you want to get the size that they will need once they are fully grown.

To make the bigger size fit your puppy, get one that has a divider and make the crate smaller for now, and adjust as they grow. This way, they won’t have too much space to make a mess in.

Where to keep your new puppy’s crate

Your puppy’s crate should be in a place where they can see you, but not in a place where they will be constantly bothered. For example, the kitchen or living room are usually good places to keep a crate.

Some people like to keep the crate in their room for the first few nights so the puppy won’t be alone the first few nights home. Others like to keep the crate in its permanent home and let the puppy adjust to the place they will be from now on.

Do whatever feels right for you. I had Luna in the living room the first night she was home because there wasn’t room for her crate in my room. She wasn’t alone though, as Morgan’s crate was also in the living room at the time.

Don’t Let Them Sleep In Your Bed The First Night

You may be tempted to let your new puppy sleep in your bed the first night, but resist the urge. It’s important to crate train them from the start, and letting them sleep in your bed will make crate training more difficult.

If you really want your puppy to sleep in your room, put their crate next to your bed. This way they will still be close to you, but not in your bed.

This doesn’t mean you can’t ever have your puppy in your bed, but it is best to wait until they are older. Besides being easier to crate train, it’s easier to avoid potty accidents if you wait for now.

I personally don’t allow my dogs on my bed, that’s where the cat sleeps at night. But my dogs do get to sleep on my youngest’s bed, or the couch, or in their crate, or anywhere else they want. We started letting Luna have free roam at night when she was about a year old.

Feeding and watering your new puppy

Your puppy will need to eat and drink often, as they have a small stomach. A good rule of thumb is to feed them three times a day until they are a little older and then switch to twice a day. Your vet will be able to recommend how much to feed them at each meal and the best time to switch to twice a day feeding.

Water should be given in unlimited quantities during the day to prevent your pupppy from getting dehydrated.

Remove Food and Water Before Bedtime

According to the AKC you should remove your puppy’s food and water about 2 to 3 hours before bed while you are housetraining them.

This helps increase the chance of your puppy sleeping through the night without needing a potty break. Though depending on how young your puppy is they still won’t be able to hold it all night for a few weeks or more.

New Puppy Not Eating Or Drinking?

If your new puppy isn’t eating or drinking, it’s important to get them to the vet right away. This could be a sign of something serious, such as Parvo.

While at the vet, they will likely give your puppy a full checkup to ensure there isn’t anything else wrong. They may also recommend some changes to your puppy’s diet, such as switching to wet food or adding some probiotics.

If you are ever worried about your puppy’s health, it is always best to err on the side of caution and take them to the vet.

Potty Training Your New Puppy

One of the most important things you will need to do with your new puppy is potty train them. This can be a daunting task, but it is important to start as soon as possible. The sooner you start, the easier it will be.

There are a few different methods you can use to potty train your puppy. The most common is probably the crate method. With this method, you will confine your puppy to a small area, such as a crate, when they are not being supervised.

They will learn that they need to hold it until they are let out and can go potty. This method works well, but it does take some patience and consistency.

Another method is the paper training method. With this method, you will put paper down in an area where you want your puppy to go potty.

They will learn that this is the place they should go and will go on the paper when they need to. This method can be easier for some puppies, but it does take longer to train them.

The last method is the potty pad method. This is similar to the paper training method, but you will use a potty pad instead of paper. Potty pads are usually made of artificial grass and are designed to absorb urine.

This can be a good method to use if you live in an apartment or somewhere where it is not easy to let your puppy outside.

Whichever method you choose, it is important to be consistent and patient. It will take time for your puppy to learn, but eventually, they will get it.

For more information on potty training your puppy, check out this post, How To Potty Train Your New Puppy.

Have A Designated Area For Potty Breaks

For those training a new puppy to go outside, having a designated area for your puppy to go potty can make it easier for them to learn where they should go. It also helps prevent any accidents in the house.

A designated area can be as small as a spot of grass in your yard or a specific area of your neighborhood that you take them to each time. Just make sure it is somewhere that they can easily go and that you can clean up after them.

How often do you need to take your puppy outside when potty training?

It is important to take your puppy out often, at least every two hours, when potty training, especially in the beginning.

Along with taking them out every two hours, make sure to take them out right after they wake up and shortly after meals.

As they get older and more trained, they will be able to hold it for longer periods of time and you won’t need to take them out as regularly. But until then, it’s best to take them out often to prevent accidents.

Signs Your Puppy Is About To Go Potty

There are a few signs that your puppy is about to go potty. If you see your puppy sniffing around or circling, it is probably time to take them outside, even if they just went out a little bit ago.

Another sign is if they start to whine or cry. This usually means they need to go and can’t hold it any longer.

If you see any of these signs, it is best to take them out right away. The sooner you can get them outside, the better. Potty training is significantly eaiser if you can get your puppy outside before they have an accident.

Wake Up & Take Them Out Every 3-4 Hours Overnight

For the first few nights, it is best to wake up every 3-4 hours and take your puppy out to go potty.

This may seem like a lot, but it is necessary in the beginning.

As they get older and more trained, you will be able to let them sleep through the night without having to take them out.

New Puppy Not Peeing?

If your new puppy is not peeing, it could be for a few different reasons.

The most common reason is that they are too scared to go. If this is the case, try taking them out on a leash so they feel more secure.

Another reason is they could be having accidents in the house and you haven’t found where they are going.

If your puppy is not peeing, it is best to consult with a veterinarian to make sure there is not a medical reason why.

Set a Routine and Stick To It

One of the most important things you can do for your new puppy is to set up a routine and stick to it.

Puppies thrive on routine and it makes potty training, as well as other training, much easier.

A typical day should include regular meals, potty breaks, playtime, walks, and naps.

As your puppy gets older, you can add in additional activities, but it is important to start with a basic routine and stick to it as much as possible.

Provide Chewing And Licking Outlets

Chewing and licking are natural behaviors for dogs. Puppies, in particular, like to chew and lick things as they are exploring their world and teething.

It is important to provide your puppy with outlets for these behaviors so they do not chew on things they are not supposed to, such as furniture or shoes.

There are a variety of chew toys designed for puppies. Just make sure to get ones appropriate for your puppy’s current and future size.

Playing With Your New Puppy

A good way to bond with your puppy, and provide them with an outlet for their energy, is to play with them.

A good way to play with them is to play tug or start teaching them to play fetch. The most important thing is to spend time with them.

Provide Downtime

While playing with your puppy is important, it’s also important to give them some downtime to rest.

Puppies need a lot of sleep and should be taking several naps throughout the day. If they seem tired, it’s probably time for a nap.

Introducing Your New Puppy To Your Other Pets

German shepherd puppy meeting a white poodle terrier.

If you have other pets, it is important to introduce them to your new puppy slowly and carefully.

While introducing a puppy to another dog is a different process than introducing them to a cat, there are some similarities.

You should always supervise any interaction between your puppy and your current pets until you are sure they are comfortable with each other.

It is best to start by having your puppy meet the resident dog in a neutral environment while they are both leashed.

Let them sniff each other and get used to each other’s smells.

Once they seem comfortable, you can let them interact off-leash in a safe area.

Do not leave them unsupervised until you are sure they are comfortable with each other and will not fight.

Spend Time With Your Older Pets

It is important to spend time with your other pets when you first bring home a new puppy.

Your older pets may feel left out and jealous of the attention the new puppy is getting. Make sure to spend some extra time with them both around the new puppy and away from them.

Ask For Help When You Need It

Bringing home a new puppy is a lot of work.

If you are finding yourself getting overwhelmed, do not hesitate to ask for help from family, friends, or a professional dog trainer. Sometimes just getting a break from your new puppy is all you need to feel better about the adjustment.

It is better to ask for help when you need it than to wait until you are at your wit’s end.

First Vet Visit

If possible it is best to schedule your puppy’s first vet visit for some time during the first few days home. The sooner you see the vet, the sooner any health issues can be caught and treated.

This is also a good time to ask the vet any questions you have about your new puppy, such as feeding recommendations.

At the very least, make sure you have the contact information for your puppy’s breeder or rescue organization in case you have any questions or problems after bringing your new puppy home.

First Night With A New Puppy: FAQ

You’ve done it! You’ve brought your new puppy home. Now what? The first night with a new puppy can be both exciting and overwhelming.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions to help you through the first few hours and nights with your new furry friend.

Where Should Your Puppy Sleep The First Night?

You have a few options for where your puppy can sleep the first night.

Some people like to keep their puppy in a crate next to their bed so they can keep an eye on them and comfort them if they cry.

Others like to put their puppy in a crate in another room so the puppy can start getting used to where it’s going to sleep from now on.

How Long Does A Puppy Take To Get Used To A New Home?

It depends on the puppy. Some puppies will adjust quickly and seem like they’ve always lived there after only a few hours.

Others may take a few days or even weeks to get used to their new home and family. Just be patient and give them time to adjust.

What Should I Do With My Puppy The First 24 Hours?

The first 24 hours with your new puppy are mostly about getting them settled in and comfortable with their new home.

Make sure they have a safe place to sleep, introduce them to your other pets, and spend time playing with them and cuddling them if they want to.

If possible, it is also a good idea to take them to the vet for a check-up within the first 24 hours.

How Often Should I Feed My Puppy?

Puppies need to eat more often than adult dogs. They should have at least 3 meals a day, spaced out evenly throughout the day.

As they get older, you can start to reduce the number of meals per day, but they will still

Is The First Night With A New Puppy The Worst?

The first night with a new puppy is usually the toughest. It’s usually the first night a puppy has spent away from its siblings and on top of that, they are in a new place.

It usually gets better after a day or two.

What If My Puppy Cries At Night?

If your puppy cries at night, the first thing you should do is take them outside to go to the bathroom.

If they continue to cry after that, try covering their crate partially with a blanket to make it more den-like.

After a few nights, most puppies will start to sleep more easily.

How Long Does It Take For A Puppy To Get Used To A New Home?

It varies from puppy to puppy, but it usually takes a few days to a week for most puppies to get used to their new home.

Be patient and give them time to adjust. They will eventually get used to their new routine.

The first 48 hours with a new puppy are mostly about getting them settled in and comfortable with their new home.

Why Is My New Puppy Sad?

There could be a number of reasons why your new puppy is sad.

They may be missing their siblings or mother, they may be feeling overwhelmed in their new surroundings, or they may be sick.

If your puppy continues to seem sad and isn’t acting like you think a puppy should, its best to call the vet to make sure everything is okay.

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